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Some out of the box thinking.

New Delhi, Mar. 22 -- While addressing a meeting of Meerut Management Association last week, I was reminded of my visit to Aurangabad where I had met some first time entrepreneurs, each making a history.

Though the big guys at Meerut were deliberating the best management practices, the discussion often veered round the in thing, 'Out of box thinking.' So when it was my turn to address, I travelled (not physically) to Aurangabad where I had met the young guys who created history by their 'novel ideas' and niche market for themselves.

They worked silently, diligently, away from the media glare. When I asked the money that they had spent on publicity, most of them said, 'Not a penny'. In fact, one of them, who sold some special tea, said, "We had to put up one hoarding in 10 years time to nail the duplicators." That was quite contrary to the general perception that media makes or breaks the budding entrepreneurs.

Let me first mention here about Mohini Kelkar. Two decades back, the company honchos used to bluntly ask for her husband every time they discussed machines they produced. Today her husband Milind faces the same dilemma as their business associates want to talk business with her. Today she handles the techno-commercial activities; her husband takes care of the technical part in their R&D lab.

Their company, Grind Masters, has grown beyond India's boundaries from strength of two - the engineer couple in 1984 -to 130 today. And as the first generation engineering exporters, they have found a place of pride in the world with their company's name figuring among the top five micro finishing companies in the world. They export their own created machines to over 20 countries. And they serve sectors like automotive, SS fabrication, printing and packaging, textiles, railways, defence and nuclear.

I was the first to write about them in national media. Till then, they worked in their labs or with their associates, unnoticed.

The other one I remember meeting were two youngsters - Atul Bangewal, a food technologist, and Ashok Choudhary, who had done his MBA in marketing. They came together to produce health confectionaries with an investment of Rs 15,000. They are now the largest seller of mango bars in the Aurangabad region.

The first product they launched was Gopimalai chocolate in 1994. It's made of pure milk and as they were not using chemicals or preservatives, their main test was to increase its shelf life from three days to six months. The second test was packaging that needed a breathing space. And that took them to Germany. Later they launched other health products like mango cubes, khatti mitthi imli. Their market extends to 15 states and several countries. Their strength - their distribution network.

These are just a few examples. Later I kept hunting for first time entrepreneurs in every city I visited and I found them flourishing.

Yes out of box thinking helps and helps in a big way.

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Date:Mar 22, 2011
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